Australia: Costco's star international market

Date : 14 October 2013

At last week's Costco full year results briefing, the retailer's chief financial officer said that it is seeing premium growth rates from its international business, with Australia its star performer.

Highest per share volume ever in a country

Richard Galanti said that when the retailer opened in Australia it record its highest per share volume ever in a country. In fact, from our visits to two of Costco's depots in Sydney and Melbourne, it is understood that these two stores both have one of the largest average basket sizes of any Costco outlet globally. Costco has grown rapidly in Australia, turning its first profit in the country in 2012, after just three years of operating, with both the Sydney and Melbourne depots each estimated as having over 100,000 members.

Costco Petrol to be added to its Australian offer

The announcement of continued strong performance by Costco in Australia comes as the retailer has also confirmed that it will be entering the petrol market. When Costco opens its second store at Crossroads in Sydney later this year, it is due to have a nine pump petrol station alongside the store. The retailer says that it will offer Costco members the lowest fuel prices in the market, even when taking into account both Coles and Woolworths popular petrol docket schemes.

Unique offer creates destination appeal

The success of both the Sydney and Melbourne depots to date has been down to the stores' destination appeal. Not only does Costco offer the only format in Australia with a full grocery, general merchandise and apparel offer under one roof, but its stores in Melbourne and Sydney are also centrally located for the populations of each city. With Costco opening a new store in both cities later this year and potentially another in Sydney in 2014, the retailer is clearly looking to build a stronger presence in the major Australian cities, as well as expand its network to new states.